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DOE Seeks to Amend Clothes Washers Test Procedures
Apr 28, 2014
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to revise test procedures for residential clothes washers.

Proposed amendments would codify test procedure guidance that DOE has issued in response to questions, clarify additional provisions of the test procedures, better organize each section, and correct formatting errors in DOE's clothes washer test procedures.

Two proposed changes would clarify fill level instructions in the previous test procedure.

DOE guidance, published in 2010, clarifies what it means to manually fill a washer clothes container with water to the “uppermost edge,” which is part of capacity measurement. The proposed amendments would include this guidance in the rule.

The proposal further clarifies water fill levels for:
• front-loading horizontal-axis clothes washers with concave door shapes
• top-loading horizontal-axis clothes washers

Amendments would also clarify how to measure a front-load washer’s maximum allowable water fill level when clothes washer door geometry has complex curvatures without an easily discernible “uppermost edge” in contact with the door seal.

Some of the other proposed changes:
• Clarify capacity rounding used when determining test load sizes.
• Allow for the use of a plastic bag, as well as previously specified plastic sheet, when preparing the appliance for capacity measurement.
• Clarify alternative drum bracing methods for front-loading washers, on those washers that are not shipped with shipping bolts securing the drum.
• Establish a lower bound of 130 °F for the hot water supply and 55 °F for the cold water supply for clothes washers in which electrical energy or water energy consumption are affected by the inlet water temperature.

A public meeting on the proposed test procedure will be held, if one is requested, by May 12, 2014.

DOE will accept comments and data regarding this notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) until July 9, 2014. Final action is also expected in July.

More information is at:
https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08741.

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